Sunday, November 17, 2019

Local Concert Video Showcase!!

Today's post is 100% devoted to new videos from SaultOnline reporter Mike Caruso's YouTube channel in the past week, as his frequent uploads of videos from local bar cover bands continue with welcome regularity! Of course, there's a lot more than this to see from many different groups, but we'll focus on heavier bands and/or covers as usual, and we'll start with Mike's video of local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck at Reggie's West on Friday night, but with a surprise, as former Haggith/Project 421/et al. lead singer Curtis McKenzie joined in as a guest vocalist! We have heard very little from Curt musically since his most recent band Eclipse (and his then-solo project) dissolved in late 2017, so it's great to see him back on stage after 2 years away! The title just says that Curtis is a guest, but Soundcheck's Facebook page's biography was quietly updated last week to confirm the departure of singer/guitarist Travis Sharpe from the band for unannounced reasons.

Travis had previously missed Soundcheck's Water Tower Pub shows earlier this month, as well a date there in September, though I have no word how related those absences were. Travis had been a member of Soundcheck since their 2016 launch, and it's very surprising to see him leave, but hopefully he turns up in a new band soon! As for Mike's video, it's of Soundcheck and Curtis covering Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" and Alice In Chains' "Man In The Box", and the band sound solid, though Curt's voice is a far better fit on the latter cover, and Paul is again obscured by that post on the stage. Solid overall, so give Mike's Soundcheck video a look below

Next up, here's a video of local classic/hard rock quintet Fluid 5ive at The New American Pub on November 8th, where they covered two songs, namely Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' "Refugee" & David Bowie's "Heroes". It's worth noting that the on-screen captions indicate a quiet lineup change, as Tom Millette is featured on second guitar, with no sign of guitarist/keyboardist Rob Irving. If Rob has left the 5ive permanently, then a reason for his departure hasn't been publically announced, though note that the band's Facebook page (which still lists Rob in the fold) hasn't been updated in over 2 months. I'm unfamiliar with Tom musically, but he fits right in with Fluid 5ive on these well-filmed covers, and hopefully all's well with Rob going forward! And yes, bassist Pierre Vaillancourt is one and the same as Pierre Anthony, highlighting the familial connection with Liam on lead guitar.

The backing vocals are iffy, but these songs are well-handled with good energy, so if you haven't seen Fluid 5ive before, this multi-camera footage will give you a solid preview of what they bring to the table. Give Fluid 5ive's 1ive video a look below, and don't miss them at Toystock!

Also, here's Mike's new video of local acoustic country duo (and Bone Yard side project) The Bearded Lounge covering Roger Miller's "Me & Bobby McGee" and a surprise slowed down version of Kiss' "Rock and Roll All Nite" at Reggie's West! I believe this was filmed at their matinee show there on November 9th. Of course, Greg and Alex have great chemistry and country chops from their full band work together and vast local experience, as evidenced nicely on the former cover, but the Kiss cover will take some acclimating if you're not a fan of classic country. Nice to see the guys spreading their wings here, so give their Reggievelt video a look also!

Finally, here's local classic rock mainstays Mustang Heart playing three covers during one of their Esquire Club concerts over the November 8th weekend. Here, you can see them cover Heart's "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You", Bon Jovi's "Bed of Roses" (featuring various pictures of couples added in post), and Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode". Frontwoman Marci Chindamo sings lead on the first and last songs,  but guitarist Lorenzo Fabbri handles them on Bed of Roses." The audio quality is mixed here, especially with the riffing almost sounding warped on the Heart cover, but Mustang Heart acquit themselves well here, so give them a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Offspring/Sum 41 preview and more on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Friday, November 15, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Candlebox), The Rad Zone Updates, And New Videos!!

Let's get a new news post up on this cold Friday night, and it includes some new videos, big updates from a fan favourite retail establishment with many ties to the local music community, and leading off, a big LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next year! Here's what you should know!

Seattle grunge/alt-rock notables Candlebox will make their local concert debut on Saturday, April 18th, 2020 when they headline at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! One of the biggest alternative hard rock bands of the 1990s thanks to hit songs like "You", "Simple Lessons", "It's Alright", and of course, the Rock 101 staple "Left Behind", their familiar and hard-edged brand of original music should be more than welcomed to the local stage in the spring, so don't miss out on this one if you can help it! Potential opening acts have not been announced at press time. Tickets for this all ages, 8:00 PM concert go on sale on Friday morning at this link, at 1-800-KEWADIN, and at the in-person box office, and they will start at $30. If you've ever wanted some big name 1990s grunge or alternative bands to roll through, this is definitely a nice change of pace, so visit the official Facebook event page and the above links for more details!

Next up, we have some sad, if not entirely unexpected news from a Sault Ontario retail mainstay, as local record (et al) store The Rad Zone and it's attached Hole In The Wall Bookstore will be leaving The Wellington Square Mall at the end of the month, with plans to move to a new location in 2020. If you follow local news media, you may be aware of announced plans to heavily restructure the Trunk Road complex into a modern strip mall (source here), which left the future of the mall's non-Food Basics tenants in doubt. It's not 100% clear whether The Rad Zone is leaving on their own accord or if they weren't part of the mall owners' future plans there. Paul "Monk" Muncaster has owned The Rad Zone (née Radical Records) for 32 years, including the past 17 at this location, but he does plan to move the store elsewhere next year, location and re-opening date to be announced. For what it's worth, their secondary "Rad Zone 2" location at Vintage Games 'N Junque on Queen Street East seems to be unaffected by these developments.

That said, before the big move, The Rad Zone is having a 2 week closeout sale starting tomorrow and running through Friday, November 29th, with most used items running 50% off, new items 40% off, and VHS tapes for 99¢ each, not counting consignment items. Visit the official Facebook event page for full pricing details. This is disappointing news, but hopefully Monk, Mel, Evan, and crew find a great new location next year, as we need a great record, gaming, skateboarding, collectible, and book store here, and they fill that niche exceedingly well, while also being great supporters of local musicians. Best of luck all around, and get down to The Rad Zone while you can!

We'll close today with new videos, starting with the last upload from Christopher Paci's footage from Muddfest at the aforementioned Dreammakers Theater in Sault Michigan on November 1st, namely his clip of opening Kentucky hard rock quartet Tantric playing their song "Down & Out." It's not as well known as "Breakdown", but it's a catchy enough rocker, and it's well filmed like the rest of Chris' Muddfest videos, so give it a look below, and see much more at his YouTube channel!

Finally, here's a brand new original song from local hard rock/metal solo musician Tym Morrison's YouTube channel yesterday, entitled "Street Preacher"! If you know Tym personally at all, you may be aware that he has embraced Christianity in recent months, and while this song does retain his heavy music background, the lyrics definitely have a (positive) religious bent. That said, I can barely hear his singing in this recording, but the music holds up and has a solid chugging riff, plus a quality solo. Give it a listen below, and don't miss Tym at Gliss tomorrow evening!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site soon! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Wyld Stallyns & Soundcheck) And Weekend Concert Previews!!

It's time to dive into another weekend of concert previews at the SMS, and barring any late notice confirmations, I think we have all of this weekend's hard rock shows covered here, along with a new video and possible lineup changes for a band scheduled for this weekend. Here's what you should know, starting with LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, some on SHORT NOTICE!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will return to Reggie's West for concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, I should have added these to our concert calendar before now, as they are part of the band's 2019 concert calendar on your right. Now that we have 2020 shows listed on the SMS, let's add their other announced 2019 shows from there to our calendar today, as Terry, Travis, Paul, and Glen will also rock The Reggievelt on December 13th & 14th (following a private gig the previous Saturday), before ending the year(?) at The Esquire Club on December 27th & 28th. Of course, there are more shows than this to come from Soundcheck (Toystock comes to mind), but help beat some of the early winter blues TOMORROW & SATURDAY at the former Rosie! All of these shows have 10:00 PM-ish start times, 19+ age limits, and no cover charges. Visit the above links for more details, and here's Soundcheck live!

Next up, local acoustic hard rock trio The Wyld Stallyns will provide the musical entertainment THIS SATURDAY NIGHT during The Whiskey Barrel's 1 year anniversary celebration! Again, apologies for the short notice, this event was only announced via the venue's Facebook page this past Saturday, and the band proper has not acknowledged their involvement on their own Facebook page at press time. Yes, the Gore Street restaurant, nightclub, and acoustic venue has already been open for one year, and SATURDAY'S festivities will be a way to celebrate the milestone, with The Whiskey Barrel's ownership mingling with fans and patrons all night, and hopefully there's a great turnout for all of that alone! Of course, most of The Wyld Stallyns' 2019 concerts have been here, so they are a great choice to rock out for the occasion on SATURDAY! The Stallyns will be on at 8:00 PM, I'd expect a 19+ age limit, and there will be no cover charge. Visit the above links for more details, congratulations to everyone at The Whiskey Barrel on the anniversary, and here's The Wyld Stallyns live there!

Moving to previously announced concerts, let's take a brief detour over to Sault Michigan, where local hard rock band Tarnished are advertised to continue their regular "every Thursday" run of acoustic matinee concerts going TODAY at Biggby Coffee! It is worth noting that, in Biggby Coffee's latest advertising of this arrangement on their Facebook page, they said that "every Thursday, Alex Traynor from Tarnished plays right here", implying that Josh Fair is no longer joining Alex regularly for these gigs. For what it's worth, Josh wasn't visibly featured in this series as early as October 24th, while in a Facebook page post teasing Tarnished's upcoming Mount Pleasant shows next week, Josh wasn't tagged along with the band members, yet ex-Lift The Broken guitarist Nathan Webber was. Has there been a quiet lineup change? We will let you know if anything is 100% confirmed wither way, but hopefully nothing bad happened with Josh, he is a talented guitarist in his own right!

As usual, today's Biggby Coffee matinee is at 12:00 PM with no cover or age limit. Visit the above links for more from Alex/Tarnished, and for a preview, here's Alex live at the Ashmun Street coffee house last month!

Finally for today, let's tackle the latest acoustic concerts from Sault Ontario hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison, who will return to Gliss Restaurant TOMORROW & SATURDAY for another pair of matinee gigs in his long-term arrangement there! Note that his planned Thomson Farms Cider & Winery concert today has been cancelled, despite still being advertised on his Facebook group. Tym's personal Facebook page confirmed that, and the mill's Facebook page was calling last week's unplugged shows "one last barn party", but no word on if the November 14th gig was cancelled or an erroneous listing. That said, fans have a warm, fully indoor location to see Tym at downtown this weekend, so if you want some unplugged hard rock covers at supper time, you know where to be! Both Gliss shows are 6:00 PM affairs with no cover charges or age limits, but mind the locale. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and for a preview, here's a brand new video of Tym in action at Thomson Farms!

Filmed at an undated Wine Barn show last month, this is a cover of A Great Big World's "Say Something", which is a surprisingly modern cover in his repertoire. The 24 second video is well recorded, but the square dimensions and flickery lighting won't be to everyone's preference. Give it a look below, and don't miss Tym at Gliss this weekend!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site soon! Thanks everyone!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Muddfest Concert Video Showcase!!

In arguably my all-time biggest gaffe in the history of our weekly concert previews, I completely forgot to preview the Muddfest concert at The Dreammakers Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on Friday. November 1st! I profusely apologize for missing such a big concert, there is no excuse on my end, though in hindsight, I am surprised at the lack of social media buzz given the lineup that was here just this month, featuring five bands with big rock radio hits in their heyday for just $29.50 a piece! Brought to us by Allstar Promotions, the social media reactions that I have found seem to be positive, and hopefully this and the same company's recent country shows did well overall! That said, it took a while for us to cover videos from the show, as I have only found one YouTube user who shot videos that night (the ever-generous Christopher Paci), and he only completed his uploads on Saturday. Thanks to him once again for all of his hard work! To keep this post at a reasonable length, we'll touch on his video of opening Kentucky hard rock quartet Tantric in an upcoming news post.

We'll start today with Chris' videos of headlining Kansas City alt-rock/post grunge quartet Puddle of Mudd in their local concert debut, who were filmed playing their songs "She Hates Me", "Famous", "Psycho" , "Drift & Die", "Uh Oh", "Control", "Go To Hell", and as embedded below, their set-closer "Blurry", albeit an extended version with a faster jam to wrap things up with. Chris has a nice and close angle to the left of the stage, and Puddle of Mudd sound solid enough overall for fans, but Wes' voice is definitely straining on heavier songs. Give their videos a look above & below!

Next up, Chris filmed three videos of Memphis nu-metal quartet Saliva (also in their local concert debut), as they played their songs "Your Disease", "Ladies & Gentlemen", and as embedded below, "Click Click Boom". Now, this show came just a day or two after it was announced that ex-frontman Josey Scott was returning to the band (source here), but Bobby Amaru was still behind the mic on November 1st, and he's honestly a fine fit, even having a bit more of a raspy edge to his voice, so don't let recent news scare you off of the current(?) lineup. Check out Chris' Saliva videos above and below!

The middle band at Muddfest was California alt-hard rock quartet Trapt in their first local show since opening for Hinder here in 2013. Chris shot four videos of their set, including of their songs "Stand Up", "Contagious", "Still Frame", and as embedded below, their biggest hit & closing track "Headstrong". Trapt seem to have tuned down compared to their heyday, but the songs still hold up and have good energy, so give those a look too!

Finally for today (Tantric are coming soon!), Chris filmed Mississippi hard rock quintet Saving Abel playing their songs "Addicted" and, as embedded below, "The Sex Is Good". This was Saving Abel's fourth local stop and first since the Superior Festival in 2015, and their sound has really held up for fans of their post-grunge-tinged original attack, especially given the four year wait. And yes, it looks like they and Trapt swapped places from the poster. Give their videos a look above and below, and thanks again to Chris for all of these!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes this week, and apologies again for neglecting to preview Muddfest on the site! This was a huge show full of hitmaking hard rock acts, and hopefully they all come back out way! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: BeeFMouTH

It's now time for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile Series, as we continue our monthly spotlighting of defunct and inactive local metal, hard rock, and punk bands for current readers! We're flashing back two decades for this month's randomly selected band, who have some very familiar faces for contemporary and modern fans alike, so here's what you should know!

Genre: Noise Rock/Hardcore Punk

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Members: (This information is incomplete, particularly regarding the full identity of "Neunen". Let us know if you can fill in any blanks!)

Boyd "Bwaad" Rendell (AlgomA), vocals/guitar
Kevin "MoDez" Campbell (AlgomA), bass/vocals
"Neunen", drums

Audio/Video: If BeeFMouTH recorded or released any studio material, it isn't available online, but at least seven vintage videos from their original run can be seen on their posthumous YouTube channel, which first began posting available footage back in 2008. These are primarily jam session clips of original songs, but two VHS camcorder videos were posted there from a concert at Club Princess back in 1999, including their set-opening performance of "White", which is embedded below. As well, Boyd later posted a Koolies & Cues video and another jam clip to his personal YouTube channel, and a private (if short) jam session video from 2013 was uploaded to his film company's YouTube channel.

Info/Analysis: Self proclaimed as "the bulldog of the ponies", BeeFMouTH (intentionally capitalized like that) were a fan favourite noise rock band that was active locally from 1997-2001, debuting on stage in November 1999. Their original run predated social media, but their YouTube channel and posthumous Facebook page (updated from 2011-2016) helped refresh memories of the band via vintage photos, videos, and concert posters. In their heyday, they were frequently seen sharing the stage with bands like Bankshot, Downshift, and Thessalon hardcore band Foul Play, and they received perhaps their biggest audience when they opened for AFI at the Princess in July 2000. Over a decade after disbanding, Boyd & Kevin resurfaced with new stage names in their current doom metal trio AlgomA, though Kevin is their primary singer in this band. In October 2013, BeeFMouTH reunited for a jam session filmed for YouTube, though a rumoured public reunion set did not follow.

As I was 12 when BeeFMouTH disbanded, I cannot speak first-hand for their local run, but they had an entertaining live attack that helped lay the groundwork for their future music work! This band had a faster, more energetic sound than AlgomA's intentionally doomy and slow approach, though it fit right in with the very active local hardcore punk scene locally at the turn of the millenium, and Boyd's high screams helped set them apart! The guys have obviously gotten more refined and experienced as musicians and for their equipment since, but BeeFMouTH are worth checking out for fans and those curious as to what they were up to pre-AlgomA!
I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profile! We'll end the year for this series on or around December 10th with another randomly selected band from Sault Ontario, as we'll take a look at 2012-2015 punk trio The Northern Tragedy! Watch for that next month, and for more news and notes on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Friday, November 8, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tripod The Dog & Fluid 5ive) And More Weekend Concert Previews!!

As promised, let's wrap up this weekend's hard rock and punk concert previews today, but to round things out, we have LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS to touch on, one on SHORT NOTICE, so let's start there!

Local classic/hard rock cover quintet Fluid 5ive will reportedly return to The New American Pub for one night only TONIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced via this poster on the venue's Facebook page yesterday, and the band proper has not updated their Facebook page in almost two months. Despite their recent quiet nature on social media, Fluid 5ive have a busy month ahead, with TONIGHT'S concert now joining their upcoming Saturday matinee on November 30th, with their Toystock debut sandwiched in between.  This veteran five-piece should have another solid evening of hard and classic rock covers in store for New A fans TONIGHT, so keep this one in mind if you want some live entertainment downtown! This is a one-nighter due to tomorrow's B.A. Johnston/Dany Laj concert, which we previewed on the SMS yesterday. This is an 8:00 PM and 19+ event with no cover charge. See above for more details, and here's Fluid 1ive!

Next up, here's a couple of new shows with lots of advance notice, as reunited local ska-punk/hard rock trio Tripod The Dog will return to The Rockstar Bar for concerts on Friday, December 27th & Saturday, December 28th! It will still be the holiday season for many at this point, so what better way to enjoy some post-Christmas live music action? These will be Tripod The Dog's first announced concerts since rocking The Esquire Club in September, as well as their first at The Rockstar Bar since their initial return gig in April. Note that the Facebook event page says that Tripod The Dog are "back with a new lineup", and while I can't 100% verify the particulars due to their lack of a new updated online page, this seems to just reference the Amendolas' addition to the group earlier this year, who were not visibly advertised for the April concert. We'll let you know if Mark has enlisted new bandmates again, though! As usual for Rockstar Bar shows from local cover acts, expect a 10:00 PM-ish start time, no cover charge, and a 19+ age limit. Visit the above links for more details, with hopefully more to come!

Heading back into this weekend's remaining hard rock/punk concert previews, let's tackle the big one for hardcore punk fans, as Montreal icons The Ripcordz will return to Sault Ste. Marie TOMORROW NIGHT at the aforementioned Rockstar Bar! This will be the first local stop in over two years for Paul Gott and company, following their set at the same venue back in October 2017. Fans of their battle-tested original attack were spoiled from late-year shows annually from 2013-2017, so the anticipation is palpable for The Ripcordz' return tomorrow! Local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades will open tomorrow for their sixth straight time opening for their "Fed Up" split-mates in city limits, and first local set since Oh!No in Leeburn, and they're a fitting choice as usual! Also, two more opening bands were quietly confirmed for this concert last week, namely alt-punk trio A Dire Setback and new online page-less punk quartet The Sick Sons in their second announced concert.

Solid choices, with A.D.S.' profile growing as their album release approaches, while The Sick Sons made a strong impression in their debut at July's Random Killing concert here, so hopefully both deliver tomorrow! Promoted by Jack Spades frontman J.D. Pearce, tickets for this 9:00 PM & 19+ show are $10 in advance through the local openers and at The Algonquin Hotel's front desk, while the price jumps to $15 at the door. Punk fans won't want to miss this hard hitting feast tomorrow night, especially if you've missed The Ripcordz in the last two years, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here they are live the last time out!

Finally for this weekend's previews, let's head to The Canadian Nightclub, where Sudbury-based Def Leppard tribute band Just Leppard will make their local concert debut TOMORROW NIGHT! The latest in The Canadian's recent regular-ish bookings of out of town tribute bands, this is a new one in both concept (I don't recall seeing a Def Leppard tribute come here before) and in the band proper, as Just Leppard only made their live debut in August. I'm admittedly not a fan of Def Leppard, but the promotional video embedded below seems very promising for fans and Hair Scare listeners alike, and hopefully the guys have a great show tomorrow! As is the case with The Canadian's other tribute shows this season, this is a 19+ concert at 9:00 PM with tickets costing $15 in advance at The Canadian Motor Hotel's front desk, and prices jump to $20 at the door. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Just Leppard live this summer!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tarnished) & Most Of This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

It's high time to cover some more weekend concert previews on the SMS! Just a heads up, due to the amount of shows, we will be holding our previews of Saturday night's Ripcordz and Just Leppard shows for tomorrow's post, so keep watch for those then. Now, here's what you should know for this weekend, starting with LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, one on SHORT NOTICE!

Joining the likely continuation of their "every Thursday" series at Biggby Coffee TODAY and beyond, Sault Michigan hard rock band Tarnished will make their debut at The Double D Bar & Grill at Dondee Lanes for three shows in four nights on November 27th, 29th, and 30th! Apologies for the short notice on TODAY'S Biggby matinee, I was waiting to see if anything would come out to confirm or deny the series' continuation (as best as I can tell, it is still on, no one has said otherwise.) As such, also look for Alex and Josh to bring their acoustic attack on November 14th, 21st, and 28th (one imagines) for more unplugged hard rock covers for tips and coffee, as well as TODAY! As for the Dondee gigs at month's end, this won't be new territory for frontman Alex Traynor, who brought his prior group Banned there in February for one of their final local concert bookings, thogh it's not yet clear if these will have the full electric band setup with drums or not.

And yes, the Dondee shows are on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, with no Thursday nighter scheduled there. No word on why they're booked like this, but hopefully the special mid-week show gets a decent turnout as well! All three of those gigs are early 7:00 PM affairs with likely 21+ age limits and no cover, while TODAY'S and the rest of this month's likely Biggby Coffee gigs are at 12:00 PM with no cover charges or age limits. Visit the Dondee shows' Facebook event page and above for more details, and here's Tarnished live!

Next up, we'll move to previously announced concerts, starting with a brief detour to Sault Ontario, where local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will keep his busy schedule up with unplugged solo concerts TODAY at Thomson Farms Cider & Winery and then TOMORROW & SATURDAY at Gliss Restaurant! Today's matinee at the west end mill's Wine Barn will be his penultimate Thursday show there of his seasonal run here, and first show in the series in two weeks, after Thomson Farms closed last Thursday due to it being Halloween proper. Apologies for missing that, we didn't hear about the show being off until after the fact. Meanwhile, Tym's long-term arrangement at Gliss will continue unabated for fans and patrons at the Spring Street restaurant, so keep tomorrow and Saturday evening's shows in mind as well!

As usual, the Gliss and Thomson Farms shows are all ages events with no cover charges and early start times of 5:00 PM at the mill & 6:00 PM at Gliss, though mind the locales, these aren't traditional nightclubs. Visit the official Facebook event paged linked here and here for more details, and for a preview, here's Tym live at the Wine Barn earlier this year!

Now, let's head back to Michigan's Eastern Upper Peninsula, as Traverse City classic metal trio Peril will return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino for concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! The last advertised gigs in our area for 2019 from this veteran band (though Scarkazm will be heading north in the coming months), this will be another prime opportunity to see Jeff, Adam, and Brooks break out their hard rocking cover selection in Mackinac County, so why not go see them one last(?) time this year! As usual for Peril's trips north to our local Kewadin branches, tomorrow and Saturday's shows are 21+ affairs with no announced cover charges, and 9:00 PM start times. Visit the official Facebook event pages linked here and here for more details,and for a preview, here's Peril live! Also, don't miss Scarkazm in the Soo at month's end!

Finally for today's previews, let's return to Sault Ontario, specifically The New American Pub, where Hamilton comedy/folk punk musician B.A. Johnston will return to town as support for Montreal power pop band Dany Laj & The Looks in a union of recent live favourites on the local stage! This will be B.A.'s second live appearance of the year at The New A, and third total in the Soo dating back to 2015, and with his polarizingly amusing blend of creative solo folk punk, his show will have to be seen to believed! Trust me, this isn't someone I can sum up in a couple of sentences! While not a punk or metal band, many readers will be familiar with Dany Laj & The Looks from their four local concert stops in the mid-2010s, where they garnered a solid following their melodic power pop originals, and hopefully theyr get more of the same in a rare non-LopLops appearance here! This concert is promoted by Girl Friday Productions, who booked B.A.'s New A show here in April, so we should be in good hands for the encore.

Tickets for this 19+ concert run for $12 at the venue and at this link, while an early-ish 8:00 PM start time is advertised. This should be a fun and diverse night of music from two touring favourites, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's B.A. live in Sault Ste. Marie!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Ripcordz and Just Leppard previews (and more) next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Local Concert Video Showcase!!

Today's post is devoted to recent live concert videos (yes, Muddfest is coming soon), and we'll start with one from Sault Michigan classical metal band Theatre of Night's Christmas tour kickoff concert at the Sandstone Congregational Church in Jackson (40 minutes south of Lansing) on Sunday! Attendee Lonnie Overmyer filmed this video of Theatre of Night playing their set-opening carol "What Child Is This?" for his YouTube channel, and he even acknowledged that it was uploaded with permission, which is rarer than you think for local acts. The video quality is very fuzzy, almost looking like a concert video you'd see posted from a show in 2005, but the audio quality holds up, and you get a neat vantage point from where Lonnie's standing. He starts off beside singer Rachel Mender before her walk to the stage as her verses begin, and if you're not familiar with Theatre of Night's live shows, this song and Rachel's entrance traditionally kick things off. Give this video a look below, and don't miss their second Christmas tour stop in Blanchard on Friday night!

Next up, here's another live video from a church out of town, this time from Sault Ontario/Thompson, Manitoba alt-hard rock musician Mike Haggith, who uploaded this video of him playing another brand new original song to his Facebook page on Halloween! Entitled "2145", Mike intends this to be a "CD-exclusive bonus track", presumably for his upcoming album "If Ever Comes The Day", though hopefully local fans have a way to hear the studio copy beyond snail mail orders. Recorded at one of his unplugged coffee house shows at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Thompson, Mike admits that this is a "rather somber renditon", and he also broke his own rule not to use lyric sheets in order to play the song as intended without mistakes. I'll hold comment pending our review of the full CD, but if you like Mike's darker and softer material, you should take to "2145", so give it a watch below! Yes, we will cover his new studio track on the site soon!

We'll close today with new videos from SaultOnline journalist Mike Caruso's YouTube channel, which continues getting stockpiled with live videos of local cover bands and musicians in recent concerts, and a handful of hard rock performances are sprinkled within! Two of Mike's videos come from local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck's double header at The Water Tower Pub this past weekend, though curiously, the band does not feature singer/guitarist Travis Sharpe in either video, similarly to their Cheap Trick cover filmed there in September. No word on where Travis was, but Terry, Paul, and Glen sound good despite being shorthanded! The filmed covers are of Loverboy's "Working on the Weekend", and as embedded below, Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down A Dream", and both work well with their sound and Mike's dual camerawork, so give both a watch above and below!

Finally, here's Mike's video of local country rock veterans (and Toystock VII headliners) Bone Yard covering April Wine's version of Hot Chocolate's "You Could Have Been A Lady" at Reggie's West on Halloween night! While primarily known for country covers, it's great to see Greg, Alex, Brad, and Ric break out the occasional rock song, and they handle this early hard rock classic with ease! While not dressed for the occasion, Mike did add a Halloween flourish in post production via some clips of ghosts and monsters in a creepy room, but it's up to you whether these add much after October 31st. Give Bone Yard's Reggievelt video a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for Muddfest videos and weekend concert previews in due course! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Theatre Of Night & Soo's Got Talent Videos, Mike McCleary Updates, And More!!

Before we begin this post, I have to apologize for missing a concert to cover on here, as Sault Michigan classic/hard rock cover quintet Highway 63 played at The Brickyard Bar & Grill in nearby Rudyard this past Friday for that venue's Halloween party. This event was only announced earlier that same day on Highway 63's Facebook page, which left us little time to cover it, but it had a week's notice on the venue's Facebook page. Alas, we've missed previewing the last three Highway 63 concerts on here, which I profusely apologize for, but there wasn't much I could have done about Friday's show. That said, you may already be familiar with The Brickyard, as it was previously known as Dan's Place, and occasionally hosted hard rock concerts through at least 2014. The 18794 South Tilson Road nightclub relaunched under it's new name in June, and has hosted occasional live music since at least July. It's good to see Dan's is back up and running with a new identity, and hopefully there's more live music to come at this Rudyard favourite!

Now, today's news post otherwise looks at some new video postings from the last while, and some long awaited updates from a prolific local solo musician, so here's what you should know! We'll stay in Michigan's Eastern Upper Peninsula to start, via local classical metal band Theatre of Night's last un-addressed videos shared to their Facebook group in the lead-up to their third Christmas tour, which began tonight in Jackson. Best of luck to everyone in the kick-off show, hopefully it's a huge hit! One video from October 13th is of keyboardist Craig Harrison recording at the computer once again, this time tracking choir and string parts for their studio tracks for the tour. Short but a nice teaser to their more orchestral and grandiose elements! Embedded below is this video of Steve, Scott, and Erik jamming a cover of Black Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe", wnich may not be seasonal, but it showcases the guys having fun and tackling a metal classic, so give it a look below!

Also today, remember how I mentioned that Miranda Siegrist's YouTube channel feature more Soo's Got Talent footage that we didn't know about, including of third place finishing Sault Ontario party metal trio The Apocalypse Afterparty? Well, let's tackle those here! Miranda posted four videos from the finals at Soo Blaster on October 11th, both of songs not featured in SaultOnline's full video of the final round. Finalist Coulson Perri's hair and clothing line up in both videos, especially as he shed his jacket and tie during "Hungry Like The Wolf", hence my certainty of the date. Perhaps these were bonus performances after the judges' verdict? One is of Coulson covering Frank Sinatra's "My Way", and the other is of folk singer/guitarist Colin Gasparelli (who was eliminated in the semifinal round) playing an original song with drum accompaniment from Apocalypse Afterparty frontman Paul Stanghetta.  Both are solidly done for genre fans, so give them a look above!

As for The A.A.'s videos proper, they are of their songs from the actual final round competition, namely their cover of R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", and as embedded below, their own original song "Island." Filmed from a distant camera angle in the crowd, the solid audio quality salvages the perspective, and while the SaultOnline/ONNtv footage of each song (linked here & here) is obviously higher quality, I'd never complain about an alternate angle from a fan like this. Give these videos a look above and below!

Finally for today, here's the latest from local solo hard rock musician Mike McCleary, who is back at (public) work on his own music! As you may know, Mike took a hiatus from most social media accounts in mid-late 2019 while his wife Sara ran in the local MP elections, but he reactivated his Facebook page in August and expressed a hope to "return to normal" last month. In August, he revealed that he is in the process of re-recording and revising some of his old original songs, including material that he previously took down (perhaps meaning "The Party Album" & "Propaganda Model".) To that end, he has posted nine new tracks onto his Soundcloud page in the past 3 months, including a new instrumental named "Cyclone", a remake of his 2018 album track "End of Days", and a number of new versions of songs from "Weight of the Truth." However, we haven't heard any updates from his camp since October 22nd, so time will tell what he has up his sleeves next.

Mike's a solid musician who's used his solo platform to express political and mental health beliefs to good effect, even if some of the opinions may be somewhat polarizing, so it'll be interesting to see what form the new versions of these songs take. Luckily, the songs he's re-posted so far retain his musical gifts, but will his existing albums be formally re-released or edited to reflect the new versions and perhaps additions/removals therein? Follow along at the above links to find out, and stay tuned for more news and updates on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Halloween Party XV Review!!

It's now time for our review of Friday night's fifteenth annual Halloween Party from local promoter/Jack Spades frontman J.D. Pearce, as held upstairs at The Rockstar Bar! Only a one night event this year, but a nice packed crowd was on hand for the festivities, and there were a lot of great costumes, including an evil rabbit, a mermaid, Mankind, the devil, Heath Ledger's Joker, and many more. If there was a costume contest, it was very late into the night. Alas, the first band didn't start until after 10:30 PM, so this was a late one, but how were the bands overall?

As they did in 2017, revived local Foo Fighters tribute band The Soo Fighters opened the proceedings on Friday, in just their third live concert set and their first since the departure of 3/4ths of their original lineup. If you missed their first run, you'll be glad to know that their brand of Foos covers went over swimmingly, ranging from early hits like "This Is A Call" & "Big Me" (with Footos) to more recent songs like "Run" & "The Sky Is A Neighbourhood." Frontman Jules Cote still rocks the Dave Grohl wig and fittingly handled the frontman role as such, so we were in good hands there! Of course, with Jeremey and the Amendolas out, new members Wes Greco, Max Ambeault, and Jonas Gasperas filled the lineup out with solid musicianship, though I do not recall Taylor Hawkins wearing PBR armor (and there was more of that to come!) If you love the Foos, there was nothing to worry about from The Soo Fighters' new look relaunch, and here's hoping they have a fourth show in the works!

Second on the night was the debuting local-ish Volbeat tribute quintet The Guitar Gangsters, who delivered a show-stealing set of familiar hits from the Danish hard rock stars! Dipping mostly into older originals like "Still Counting", "Fallen", and "The Human Instrument" over their more somewhat softer newer material, most of the band had experience with Volbeat songs between Garden of Bedlam and Pools of Booze, and it showed on Friday. This was the first time we've seen Garden of Bedlam frontman Erik "Buzz" Boissineau on a local stage in over 4 years, and I'm glad to say that his voice is as strong as ever, and it was great to see him back with drummer Derek Turner for the night! Derek's old PFC bandmate Mike Bird's bass work was solid, and Tiffany Stocco and Jesse Cook (King Torontankhamen?) handled the guitar professionally and with great energy! Volbeat fans ate up The Guitar Gangsters' set, and good luck to them on their road trip to Sudbury later this month!

As for the headliners (an advertised Me First & The Gimme Gimmes tribute), my prediction that they would be Jack Spades was incorrect, making this a rare installment of J.D. Pearce's annual Halloween Party where he was not a lead singer for any bands. Instead, his bandmate Rob Speers fronted his funk/hard rock quartet The Elements for a set of punk covers of non-punk songs, and that worked out well, even if the crowd seemed to be less lively as it passed 1:00 AM. No word on if The Elements would have been the Rob/White Zombie tribute from initial advertising, but they gave a lively, harder-edged take on Paula Abdul, Dolly Parton, and John Denver songs, among many others, and everyone played to their strengths! Interesting spandex Gomez Addams look on James, and Jonas was fully mechanized on drums to start the set! I couldn't stay for the whole set, but The Elements ended things with a bang, and here's hoping for more soon!

Overall, this was a fun Halloween concert, if unfortunately delayed for it's start time, and even with the one night, post-Halloween format, they packed a lot of hard hitting covers into 3+ hours!  You can check out our photos from Friday night at this link and at our Facebook page, and as for videos, here's The Soo Fighters playing "Rope", The Guitar Gangsters playing "Heaven Nor Hell", and The Elements covering Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon"!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Where Are The New Albums? November 2019 Update

It's now time for this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post at the SMS, as we continue our regular spotlighting of the recording process and release whereabouts of upcoming albums from local metal, hard rock, and/or punk bands! This is a holding pattern entry for the most part, with only one updated entry, another removal, and some minor grammatical fixes, but hopefully things will get livelier next month. So, where are the new albums? Read on below to hopefully find out!
A Dire Setback's self-titled debut album

Rumoured Songs: "Wasting Away", "Kicking & Screaming", "Faded", "Catastrophe", "Forget This Memory", "Everlasting Despair", "A Dire Setback", "Nightmares", "Endless Dream", "Drop Dead"

Background: Though discussion of a debut album had been ongoing throughout 2017, local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback only announced that their first CD was in the works in March of last year. To help fund the recording sessions, A Dire Setback launched a Patreon page to allow fans to help financially back them and the album, with exclusive content and perks promised for backers on there, though public content on their Facebook page has also been released. Pointless bandmates Bill Priddle & Dustin Goodall handled production and mastering, at least partially at Dustin's own Unsalted Audio, with full recording sessions taking place between May 2018 & May 2019. The band posted this photo on Facebook in that could be the possible cover art, while this Rotaryfest teaser features a drum-heavy track that may be included. The first single "Kicking & Screaming" was released online in September, complete with official music video, while the album was confirmed to be self-titled at live concerts.

Current Release Status: The description for this teaser for the aforementioned music video says that the album will be released "at the end of 2019", but we have not heard anything else finite or public regarding when we might see it go on sale. Will that timeframe hold up? Stay tuned for updates, but with momentum building for A.D.S., hopefully we have copies out there in the coming months!
The Bear Hunters - The Dead Testament

Rumoured Songs: "The Void", "The Omen", "Neckbreaker", "I Fear No God", "Servitude", "Transcend Judgement", "For Glory", "The Wrath Of Angmar", "The Dying Den", "The Dead Testament", "Deception" (bonus re-recording), "The Forest of Forests" (bonus track)

Background: In tentative planning since 2014 under this title, local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters have been playing songs intended for their second full length CD for a few years now, but only fully began recording sessions for "The Dead Testament" on October 2nd, 2015. Following a brief fundraising campaign and the gradual unveiling of song titles, the band has been working with producer Dustin Jones at Mission Control Studios, and have shared sporadic updates on their Instagram page. Like on 2014's "Eternal Hibernation", rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney has recorded parts for the album despite living in Southern Ontario. The music video for "I Fear No God" was posted on YouTube on December 1st, marking the first public release of a song from the CD, while the final cover artwork and full track listing order were posted on their Facebook page on February 17th.

Current Release Status: The Bear Hunters haven't given any firm timetables for when to expect "The Dead Testament" in stores, and they have not posted on their Facebook page since the track listing reveal, but recording sessions are reportedly complete, and they have played live since then. The band is aiming for a more professional sound and release for their sophomore effort, and to go along with that, artwork and physical distribution plans are ongoing, as are "a ton of cool ideas for stepping our media game up." Keep an eye out for updates on "The Dead Testament" when and if they come in!
Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide's fourth album

Rumoured Songs: "Lost & Found"

Background: After a lengthy hiatus dating back to the summer of 2016, local Celtic punk veterans Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide resumed public activity last spring, later beginning recording sessions by October at Dustin's own Mission Control Studios, as per their Facebook page. The band confirmed that they were indeed recording a fourth studio album (and first in 7 years) in January, which will presumably be released through Tidal Records, and will also be their first album with second guitarist Liam Seymour and drummer Chris Johns. A 22 second teaser of the first single "Lost & Found" was posted on Facebook, and it's official music video was released in March.

Current Release Status: When The Tide shared the above teaser clip, they mentioned that the album was "coming soon", which doesn't tell us much. With recording sessions a few months in, and it's intended song now out via the music video, it's likely that Dustin and company aren't early in the process, but we'll let you know when more comes out on their highly anticipated fourth album as the year moves forward!
The Elements' debut EP 

Rumoured Songs: "Liar", "G20", "Triple H", "The Rut", "I Need A Friend", "Riptide"

Background: Arguably better known for their funk, ska, and hard rock covers, local quartet The Elements have been adding original material to their sets since 2015, and have since publically confirmed earlier teases that they are working on a debut EP. Frontman Rob Speers has confirmed in personal conversations in early 2016 that they have been working in studio on the release, which will have at least 5 tracks, and I believe it's being self-recorded, but further public updates are minimal at best. It's also not known if they'll employ any guest performers, such as saxophonist Josh Norling, a frequent presence in recent months.

Current Release Status: At this stage, I have no idea, but Rob sounded like things were going well in studio. That said, these were largely personal conversations over a year ago, and the band hasn't acknowledged album recording sessions publically in recent months, so we'll have to see if updates come out on it in 2019!
Id Iota's full length second CD

Rumoured Songs: "Happy Sailor", "Intro To American Literature", "Seas Envy Skies", "Long D", "Cop Drama", "Deep Empty", "Blind Spots"

Background: Not long after their successful Ontario tour with Mike Mikus in late 2016, Id Iota began recording sessions for their second album, though public confirmation that a full length CD was currently in progress didn't occur until guitarist Dustin Goodall announced it on his studio Unsalted Audio's website in early 2017. Scattered postings and hints have followed, but nothing else has came out beyond performances of newer originals in concert through last summer. For reference, this photo got shared a few times on Id Iota's Facebook page last year, but it's unclear if it's intended to be the album's cover artwork. It is not clear whether new bassist Robert Sartini and/or his predecessor Dan Linklater will be on the final product, or if any collaborations with RedD Monkey alum Pete Mozarowski will make the cut.

Current Release Status: No idea, especially with the alternative/hard rock quartet keeping fairly mum on it's progress as of late. Aside from a video cover of Pup's "Free At Last" in February with an altered lineup, we haven't heard anything from Id Iota since last summer, which doesn't bode well in theory. Hopefully things are progressing behind the scenes, so stay tuned!
Mike Haggith - If Ever Comes The Day & Bridges

Rumoured Songs (A): "The Best You Never Had", "Communique", "If Only You Could Hear Me", "MorningStar"

Rumoured Songs (B): "From The 55th Parallel", "Over Indecision", "The Nature of The Times","An Act of Strength","The Catalyst", "Dangerous Town", "Come on Home", "Blue Highway", "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost", "Bridges"

Background: After moving to Thompson, Manitoba in November 2017 for work reasons, prolific local/Windsor hard/alternative rock musician Mike Haggith relaunched his dormant solo project, and soon commenced songwriting for a new CD named "Bridges", with updates taking place across 2018 and into early 2019. His Facebook page documented songwriting sessions and acoustic "home demo" videos of new original songs, plus solo concerts in Thompson largely featuring new tracks. Despite the unveiling of the cover artwork, three singles, and even a music video for "The Nature of The Times", Mike indefinitely postponed the release of "Bridges" last month due to mixing delays, personal life concerns, and the quick development of a new album named "If Ever Comes The Day", which he now plans to release first. With that, he unveiled it's first single "Communique" on September 24th, with "The Best You Never Had" following yesterday, and other hints towards songs also showing up on social media.

Current Release Status: Regarding "If Ever Comes The Day", it's not clear yet when we might see it on sale, but Mike sounded very optimistic about the material and recording process, so this could be quick. Mike has confirmed that "Bridges" will still be released, and for an album with completed recording sessions, artwork, and single releases, you'd hope so, but it's clear that he is prioritizing the new CD at this time, so I wouldn't expect "Bridges" until 2020. With Mike's candor & honesty, you know he won't hide anything regarding these albums, so keep tabs for updates as they roll in!
Pillory's second CD

Rumoured Songs: "Angst of Existence", "Sculptor of Cadavers", "Wasting", "Abhorred Apprehension", "The Passing", "Exhaustive Incarnation"

Background: After previously breaking up in mid-2014, local metal band Pillory returned as a trio in the fall of 2015, trading their thrash metal roots for a heavier death metal sound, complete with a completely overhauled setlist with no carried-over originals from their 2013 debut EP. In March 2017, Id Iota guitarist Dustin Goodall's recording studio Unsalted Audio revealed that they were in pre-production for Pillory's second album, with the band confirming that sessions were underway that summer. As of July 2017, drum tracks were complete, though it took until November 2018 for the band to confirm that guitar tracking was underway, with vocals & mixing to follow. It's not clear who will provide bass tracks on the final product, between ex-bassist Jordan Leach, his replacement Blair St. John, frontman Robert Sartini (who played bass on their first EP), or a combination therein.

Current Release Status: I have no idea, and it doesn't help that Pillory have only posted once on Facebook in the past two years, though their new lineup returned from year-long hiatuses twice in thst span for opening sets at Live705 death metal shows at The Rockstar Bar. That said, with their increasingly brutal and technical sound, hopefully they can get this album complete down the line!
The Sorrow Fields' debut album

Rumoured Songs: Unknown

Background: After a two year hiatus for his solo project (previously known as Animas, April Eyes, and By The Gods), local guitarist Mitch Sirie's solo project The Sorrow Fields resumed public activity last February via recording sessions at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones, where his band The Bear Hunters also recorded their new CD. An actively maintained social media page for The Sorrow Fields has not followed suit, but Dustin did say that he was "stoked" by the guide tracks, and tracking was reportedly underway in January. Posts on Mitch's personal Facebook page have implied that the project's current form will be much softer than his death metal band work.

Current Release Status: With tracking reportedly underway, this year has to be at least targeted, but given that Mitch has kept all of his own promotion for this album on personal accounts, it's anyone's guess how fast this will come out (also, remember how Mitch's prior attempts at solo albums never saw their intended completion.) It'd be great to see both The Sorrow Fields' debut and "The Dead Testament" on sale this year, and hopefully things progress the right way for both in the coming months!
As well, I have removed one album due to it's artist being moved to our inactive band links, so here's what you should know about that:
Mike Vincent - For Dear Life

Rumoured Songs: "Nocturnal"

Background: Shortly after releasing his first two solo albums ("Ultimate Chaos" & "Apocalypse") in March 2018, former Skull After Betrayl frontman & Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent indicated that he had begun preparations for a third solo release. Mike revealed on his personal Facebook page in September that his third album would be titled "For Dear Life", with an instrumental demo of it's first song "Nocturnal" being posted to his Bandcamp page. Unlike on his prior releases, "For Dear Life" was expected to feature vocals on all but one track, a'la Mike's singing work with Skull After Betrayl.

Reason For Removal: Given that Mike doesn't have an updated social media page for his music outside of Bandcamp, it's hard to 100% say his solo project has been shelved, but we have went over a year since his last public update. As such, I moved him back to our inactive band links last month, but given his solo recording nature and quick pace for his prior releases, we could be closer to "For Dear Life" than we realize. Hopefully Mike revisits his solo music down the road, he's a solid musician!
I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! This series will return on or around December 2nd, while our next monthly feature post will likely be this month's Defunct Local Band Profile one week from tomorrow. That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Halloween Party review on the site next! Thanks everyone!